What a great week we had last week in the gym.
It was our final members testing week of 2015 and we finished it off with our members Christmas meal on Saturday.
Now, not every client tested. Some were sick, some were travelling with work and some had only just started with us so testing wasn’t suitable for them.
But for those who did test I can guarantee that they are tired from it. While you might only test 1-3 things in a session, each of them is a full out effort. And if you do that a few times during the week you[‘re going to feel it the following week.
You’re going to have a bit of muscle soreness, have a bigger appetite than usual and feel a bit more tired than usual for a few days afterwards.
This is all good stuff after a challenging week but it does require you to scale things back a bit when the week is over. Scheduling a recovery week has huge benefits and it can be done in a number of ways depending on the persons training level, the effort they put in, how long of a run they’ve had previously to testing (or a competitive event) and a number of other factors.
And while it’s important, most people don’t incorporate them into their plans. They simply just turn up week after week and try to blast themselves as hard as possible until they inevitably burn out. And if you burn out you’ll end up being forced to take a break anyway but not on your terms.
And because the break wasn’t on your terms you’re going to feel like a your going backwards, not achieving your goals and generally frustrated and pissed off. All of a sudden exercise isn’t meeting your expectations of how it should be making you feel and who enjoy thats.
It becomes much easier to let it slide, make excuses or simply quit.
So how do you get around those issues?
Firstly you must accept that recovery weeks need to be a part of your plan and as much as possible you plan when you are going to take them off. Of course life happens and you’ll have to adapt but that needs to be the exception and not the rule.
And when you do that, here are the benefits that you’ll get:
- You’ll maintain a healthy relationship with exercise because you’ll know that it’s not all go, go, go
- It gives you time to sit back, review your progress and set new goals
- By taking a bit of downtime you’ll avoid burning out which can set you back months
- You can have a break of scenery by taking a few days off from the gym. The gym is great but a break from it is just as great
- You can use this time to work on the smaller stuff- fresh air walks, corrective exercises, mobility, massage, stretching, meditating. This is my preferred way of recovering. It allows me to scale it back but still keep moving at a lower level
- You’ll keep you mental edge. By scaling it back before burning out you’ll have the mentality of “I’d love to be driving it on in the gym right now.” When you step it up a notch a week later this enthusiasm will burst through
- Your muscles and joints will get a break from the challenges that exercise places on them. Those stresses are great but not when they are relentless without a break in sight
- You allow super-compensation to occur which basically means that you’ll bounce back stronger after a planned break more than if you just keep plowing away without any break
Remember guys, all the healthiest and fittest people around have recovery time planned into their training plans and so should you.
In our facility it is one of the most important elements in our programs which is why we get such great results with our clients. It’s also one of the main reasons why our clients are so consistent. They avoid burning out and therefore find it much easier to stay on track.
What are your thoughts or experiences on with regard to all this?
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